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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Local Knowledge

Knowing a location well can get you into the right place at the right time

Labels: How-ToOn LandscapeColumn

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Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Valley, California.
Another good example of making use of location knowledge can be seen in my Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Valley photograph. When the conditions are right, with spring runoff and on a bright sunny day in the early afternoon, the light glances across the graceful and often thunderous spray of the waterfall. The granite wall stays in shadow briefly, setting off the waterfall patterns. If the wind is right, the gusts will move the spray into endless patterns of glowing light! The day I made this photograph was a good one for that effect. When the wind was still, the water fell straight down (naturally). When the wind kicked in, I made a burst of exposures as the spray moved across my frame.

Using Lightroom 2, I easily was able to compare frames for sharpness and design for both of these images in order to find the “select” images. From Lightroom, I took them into Photoshop for the final touches to optimize the master file.

So keep an eye out the window, and take advantage of your local knowledge. Study your nearby landscapes, expand your portfolio, and the lessons learned you’ll carry with you to all your photography, including those exciting road trips. Good luck, and good light!

To learn about William Neill’s new e-books, Impressions of Light and Landscapes of the Spirit, visit his photoblog, sign up for newsletter updates and learn about his courses with BetterPhoto.com, go to www.williamneill.com.


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